Defending the big play

ATHENS - The big play.

That's what really scares Georgia about Boise State. The Broncos, with their multiple formations and polished play-action passing game, can score in a hurry. Ten times last season, they scored 20 or more points in a quarter. Against Hawaii, they had 38 points in the third quarter alone.

For the last two years, the Bulldogs worried just a little less about big plays because of safety Thomas Davis, who not only was one of the best open-field tacklers in the program's history but also was one of the team's fastest players.

This year, Davis is playing with the Carolina Panthers, and Greg Blue will be the last line of defense.

"Thomas was kind of faster than me," Blue admitted this week.

Davis benefited from playing in a better football position, Blue said, and Blue concentrated on lowering his center of gravity this fall. There's more to it than speed, though.

"It's just a matter of being in position and not getting sucked into that run, run, run mentality," said Coach Mark Richt, who added Blue has become much more disciplined in the last year.

Boise State will give Blue a good test on that. He hopes it's not too good. In fact, he hopes he doesn't have to save the day at all, as Davis did several times in his career.

"I hope we don't have to do that this year," he said, "but I'm going to try my best.

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